Saturday, 26 July 2008

Top 10: Movie Villains - Part 3

In honour of the arrival of Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight, in cinema’s now, Robert Duffin concludes the countdown of his top movie villains with the final three…

3. Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

“Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas!”

More often praised for his Hans Gruber role in Die Hard, Alan Rickman’s ultimate treatise in villainy is surely this, the role he turned down twice before finally accepting. His snarling, over the top Sheriff with his pithy one-liners is diabolical and joyous to watch, so much so that it’s easy to wish Kevin Costner’s Robin would sod off back to Sherwood. His scheme to screw Robin over by marrying his woman is true evil genius, and his hurried attempts to impregnate her as the hero storms the castle is black-as-tar twisted. Remains feared, even after he begrudgingly reveals his real name to be George.

2. Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum)- Night of the Hunter (1955)

“I can hear you whisperin' children, so I know you're down there. I can feel myself gettin' awful mad. I'm out of patience children. I'm coming to find you now.”

When director Charles Laughton described Harry Powell as a “diabolical shit” at the audition, Robert Mitchum rapidly shouted “Present!” securing him the role of a lifetime. Sporting the iconic LOVE and HATE tattoos on his knuckles, Powell is evil without the soft touch of humour of the Sheriff. This man of the cloth marries and then murders a woman, then stalks her children with his weapon of choice; the switchblade. Apparently Mitchum hated his co-star Shelly Winters so much that he claimed to have wished Laughton had used her in the scene where we see her character dead underwater. Truly creepy.

1.BOB (Frank Silva) – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

“Bob is real! He comes in through my window at night. He's real. He's getting to know me now. He speaks to me.”

While some will continually spout the virtues of frequent poll toppers Hannibal Lecter or Darth Vader, I challenge anyone not to be truly terrified by Bob, the supernatural being from the television show Twin Peaks and it’s movie sequel. The horror of Bob is his twisted physicality, lurking behind bedroom dressers and hanging from your bedposts, or worse crawling over your living room couch to get you. Apparently, or so the legend goes, David Lynch one day had a sudden image of Frank Silva, who was at this point the show's set decorator, crouching in a sinister manner in Laura Palmer's bedroom. He went ahead and filmed the scene without really knowing how he could use it. Later on Lynch noticed that when he shot the scene of Laura's mother screaming that a reflection of Silva could be noticed in the mirror behind her, a freak accident that gave way to a legend. Watch these videos, and don’t have nightmares.

This concludes the top ten movie villains, agree or disagree with the choices? Then click on the comment box and let us know who was or should have been left out. Check out Montage over the weekend for our takes on The Dark Knight.

No comments: